(K. Brent Tomer),
IT WAS the obvious question to ask at the start of the post-tournament press conference: “Does this match mean that tennis officially now has a ‘Big Five’”? Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked male player, was a clear favourite to beat Stan Wawrinka in the final of the US Open singles on September 11th. Betting markets gave the Serb a 73% chance of winning, as he had done in 19 of their 24 prior meetings. And after securing a one-set lead, Mr Djokovic looked certain to collect a 13th grand-slam title. He does not lose after taking the first set on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows—or at least, he had not done so on 48 previous occasions.
But after falling behind, Mr Wawrinka produced three hours of outstanding tennis, hit 37 winners to Mr Djokovic’s 23, and won three straight sets to vanquish his opponent. Mr Djokovic is perhaps the greatest returner in the history of the sport, yet was played off the court. He…Continue reading